He won the title in a darts tournament as an amputee who throws darts from a wheelchair. That is something all people should remember: limitations are not a hindrance to become a champion.
Ricky Chilton, a 41-year-old local of St. Ives, Cornwall, is well known around the darts scene. He has been a darts player for years, has participated in several tournaments, won a number of awards and became a title holder in some of those darts competitions.
For many seasons, Chilton has been a title holder in the West Penwith Darts League. In 2003-2004, he became the champion of the third division singles. In the same year, he and St. Ives Rugby Club player Jeremy Ward took the gold on the third division doubles. He was also awarded as the Player of the Year for the third division.
In 2005-2006, Chilton again became a title holder in the second division doubles with his partner Tony Morgan. Chilton’s awards and honours also include the 2001-2002 Hodges Trophy and the Player of the Year award in the second division along with the Liberties.
In 2007, Chilton was diagnosed with bone cancer which resulted to the amputation of his left leg. While adjusting to his new body, playing darts was no longer easy and fun. Sitting on a wheelchair, the bulls-eye is 15 inches lower than the standard oche or throw line. The situation made Chilton almost give up on the game he loves.
But to Chilton, giving up is not and will never be a good choice or decision. He may have lost a limb but his hope and determination of becoming a champion in the darts arena is still intact. With perseverance, motivation, and passion, he re-trained himself to throw darts from a mobility device. There were a lot of changes and adjustments but Chilton was willing to persevere so that he could play again.
And eventually, his efforts paid off and his determination and perseverance were greatly rewarded. In the inaugural Winmau World Masters wheelchair darts competition held last October 16, 2014, Chilton grabbed the title. He was crowned wheelchair darts champion beating Phil Lees from Manchester 3-2 in Hull. He was one of the eight finest wheelchair players that were handpicked by the World Disability Darts Association, the organization that also arranged the event.
To Chilton, there are still a lot of things he needs to learn – learning where and how to throw the dart, positioning himself since he will be below the standard oche, and more. But being an amputee and a wheelchair user will never stop him from becoming a champion!